Baby whale found dead in Zamboanga City

Photo from ABS-CBN News.
Photo from ABS-CBN News.

Let’s offer a moment of silence for the whales of Zamboanga City.

Yesterday, the body of a young sperm whale was found by fishermen working in the waters of Sacol Island.

The whale was about 6 meters (20 feet) long, which the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said indicates it was still a baby. BFAR told ABS-CBN News that full-grown sperm whales can grow as long as 15-18 meters (50-60 feet).

The fishermen immediately reported the incident to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), whose officials pulled the whale to the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority fishing port.

Because the baby whale was already decaying when it was found, the Zamboanga City Veterinarian’s Office was not able to conduct a necropsy.

However, Dr. Arnedo Agbayani, head of their Animal Health Division, said possible causes of death include a parasite infection from fish the whale ate or plastic trash it may have ingested from the ocean.

Just last month, a wounded pygmy sperm whale that was 3 meters (9.84252 feet) long also washed ashore in Zamboanga City and eventually died because of parasitic worms from fish it had eaten.

But upon conducting a necropsy, vets found that there was also plastic trash inside the whale’s intestines, including a toothbrush cover.

If that doesn’t convince you to stop using single-use plastic, we don’t know what will.

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